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Lord's turns #RedforRuth on 11 July, to support families facing one of life's toughest tests

Posted: 10 July 2024

On Thursday 11 July, the cricketing world will once again unite at Lord’s, the Home of Cricket, to support the Ruth Strauss Foundation in celebrating the sixth year of #RedforRuth.

An iconic moment in the sporting calendar, this annual takeover helps raise awareness and vital funds for the foundation's mission to support families facing the death of a parent from cancer, and fund more collaboration and research into non-smoking lung cancers.

The Ruth Strauss Foundation was founded in memory of Sir Andrew Strauss’ wife, Ruth, who was diagnosed with an incurable non-smoking lung cancer at the age of 46. The couple believed in the importance of having open and honest conversations about her incurable diagnosis, death and dying with their two sons, who were only 10 and 13 years old at the time.

Since the Foundation’s launch in 2019, more than 160,000 children in the UK will have been bereaved of a parent. That’s five times the crowd that will be at Lord’s Cricket Ground on Red for Ruth day.

Through the incredible support of the cricket community and wider public on days like #RedforRuth, the Ruth Strauss Foundation has been able to offer vital pre-bereavement support to families across the UK. It is more focused than ever on ensuring that no family should face grief alone. They’re now able to accelerate this, thanks to the development of a pilot schools programme and an exciting new project with Microsoft, which will see the charity and technology company partner to develop a game that helps children and teachers understand and talk about grief and bereavement.

Sir Andrew Strauss says: Ruth would be absolutely stunned by the impact we’ve been able to make in the past six years thanks to the support of the public. We’ve trained nearly a thousand healthcare professionals, and with more support this will double by the end of the year. We’ve already helped hundreds of families with our support services and peer groups, and we have a vision to help thousands more every year.

Your generosity means there are more and more ways to ensure that when a parent hears they don’t have long to live, their children are equipped to manage the death of a parent and develop the resilience to prepare for the future together as a family. Once again, if you can, please dig deep and support people going through one of life’s toughest tests.”

Guy Lavender, CEO and Secretary of MCC said: “We’re delighted to be supporting the Ruth Strauss Foundation again this year and I encourage everyone coming to Day 2 of the Test to show their support by wearing red and creating a sea of visible support right across the ground. By joining in, you’re helping to raise awareness of this amazing charity that helps so many. I look forward to seeing the bucket hats go flying!”

Actor and director Nigel Harman has lent his support to this charity. His mother died from cancer when he was 17 and little was said to him before or after her death. He says: “I know only too well that grief at a young age can impact you for a long time afterwards, if you don’t get the support to prepare for it. I wish this charity existed when I was younger.”

In the past year, the Foundation has implemented its ‘No Conversation Too Tough’ programme for healthcare professionals, which equips them with the skills and confidence to better support families when a parent receives a terminal cancer diagnosis. 700 healthcare professionals have now benefited from this innovative training programme, with 700 more expected to be trained by the end of the year.

The Foundation is also piloting a support programme this year for teachers and schools across 40 institutions, and 100 staff members. Knowing the important role teachers and schools play in the lives of a child facing the death of a parent, these programmes aim to ensure that no child facing bereavement is invisible. and provide consistent support in those key moments after a parent receives an incurable cancer diagnosis.

After the success of the past five years, a true spectacle of red is expected to greet Lord’s for this special occasion. But the public is also being asked to keep an eye out on socials, as Sir Andrew Strauss and a host of the Foundation’s supporters (including Joel Dommett, Brendan Cole, Bear Grylls, Kumar Sangakkara and more!) are taking the #BucketHatChallenge to showcase their support and help raise funds. They’ve all been seen on Instagram trying to flick a bucket hat from their foot to their head in one slick move.

To take part in the challenge yourself, simply grab a bucket (or other) hat, balance it on your foot and get someone to film as you try to flick it from your foot to your head in one go. Post your clip using #BucketHatChallenge and tag @ruthstraussfoundation and three friends.

There are multiple other ways you can start showing support, ahead of the main #RedforRuth day, including:

Help spread the word through social media: 

Buy official merchandise:  

Text to donate: Text TEN to 70600 to donate £10, Text TWENTY to 70600 to donate £20, Text THIRTY to 70600 to donate £30, Text FORTY to 70600 to donate £40

Host your own Red for Ruth fundraiser:

Visit for more information on ways to support